Representative decision making

Better and more responsive policy making requires input from a broad and representative sample of the population , not just the usual suspects. What can we do to make sure this happens?

Why the contribution is important

It's important that a broad and representative sample of the population gets involved in public deliberation so that the decisions taken accurately reflect people's priorities and needs. That requires not only removing barriers to participation but effectively promoting participation beyond the usual channels and rethinking how we engage harder to reach groups.

by CGilmore on June 08, 2021 at 04:18PM

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  • Posted by clc June 09, 2021 at 23:20

    Transparency and open access is key to garnering the widest range of opinions and perspectives from the widest range of people. Scottish governance should be open to all nationals and residents of Scotland with alternative, non-voting engagement for those with a vested interest who are outside of eligible voters. To gather the broadest possible selection of perspectives, we need to engage the broadest possible swathe of individuals. This means contextualising government services and services influenced by governance via the way that individuals relate to those services - an example would be the NHS, to which chronically ill individuals will have a very different relationship versus healthy individuals or roads and transport, to which drivers will have a very different relationship versus bus users and pedestrians. The key to this is gathering data from the people of Scotland - which services they use and find most important. That information can be used to canvass those most affected to create interest groups around particular services. A platform of open discussion of these services with self-organising groups around specific interests would assist in policy making and shaping as well as building understanding between the groups involved and their challenges. Another important point is in the intersectional nature of individuals - people face very different challenges based on many facets, from their race through educational level to their wealth and lifestyle. If data is gathered and adequately protected, it can be used to identify how diverse perspectives are on any given issue and anonymously reported in aggregate form to provide insight on inclusivity in decision making.
  • Posted by Eoghann June 10, 2021 at 22:04

    Development Planning, be it Local Development Plans or the Scottish Government's own National Planning Framework, are still heavily influenced by powerful lobbies and vested interests. As a consequence, these plans often provide benefits for the few at the expense of the many. A good example would be the inclusion of Energy Transition Zones in the Aberdeen Local Plan which would benefit a few while disadvantaging many, such as the multi-deprived areas of Torry and Balnagask. There are many other examples and those producing the plan and including such policies need to provide evidence to show these policies have widespread support and documented evidence of how the benefit the majority. Simply saying development X will bring y new jobs to the area. When have heard that hoary old chestnut so many times yet they rarely deliver e.g the the Trump Golf Resort in Aberdeenshire.
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